The naming is a heavy task for many people around the globe. Every person in every part of the world has to bear a name for identification purposes. The naming is very important due to the different meaning of different names all over which are available. The names also mean a lot to these children who may in one reason or another not very much impressed by their names which were offered to them after their birth.
English Names for Chinese
Many people have an English name as their official name, or as a nickname used when their real name may be difficult for people from other countries to pronounce. The Chinese have a great desire to have English names although most of them can’t speak English. The English names for Chinese should fit them and correlate to their real name
Chinese are content to have English names even if they will not be able to benefit from them and interact with other people who have English names. The naming practice is more important to the Chinese and this means that you as an English teacher have to know the best ways to find the best names to suit them.
For most foreign English teachers, having students with English names makes teaching easier. Even if you choose to have students use their Chinese names, you should at least have students write their names in Pinyin on homework and for the nametag on their desk (unless you are one of the few foreigners who can read Mandarin well).
For students, English names are useful because they are often used in international Chinese companies and abroad. Additionally, it helps them learn common Western names.
Chinese Name Translation
The English teacher should pick English names from the 100 most popular names list for the students birth year. The year is important because the trends in the names change over time. The United States Social Security Administration has a very nice website where you can look up to the most popular American names for every birth year. This will help you avoid choosing very old names which could make the child feel out of place in a future work or social environment.
Choosing English Names for Chinese
Choose a name which sounds somewhat similar to their real name. Choosing a name that starts with the same letter or the phonetic syllable as how their Chinese name would be pronounced by a Westerner will help Westerners better understand their Chinese name. For example, someone who is Chinese could first say their Chinese name and then say, “My name is Jiaying but you can call me Jannett.”
Chinese should have a name that sounds official and impressing. This will make them recognized as a mature person when they are older and possibly working in a multinational corporation or abroad. There is no need to worry about the meaning behind the English name since most Westerners do not care much about the meaning and the most popular English names will reflect positive attributes.
Chinese Names Don’t Always Translate
In China, some of the Chinese citizens have names which are given as one word or character. The essence makes the western individuals not able to find the distinction to whether it’s a word or a name. To Chinese, the names are very distinct because it is their native language.
A lady called Lindsay Jernigan, an American expat in China developed a website where Chinese can access reliable names through the site. Notably, the platform helps the Chinese citizens in accessing the most popular names used by Westerners. This site could be an alternative to assigning names to your students. It could even be a homework assignment!
Using English names in the classroom is a great way to have Chinese students familiarize themselves with Western names. However on a global scale, people should work harder to learn Chinese names. Some names may be hard to learn at first. However, it is only fair for everyone to do their part to learn foreign names in our increasingly globalized world.
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